Jamie Coots, who starred on "Snake Salvation" — a National Geographic reality show about Pentecostal preachers who handle snakes as part of their services — died Saturday after being bitten by one of the snakes, Kentucky's WBIR reports. Coots was handling a rattlesnake at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bitten on the hand Saturday night, another preacher, Cody Winn, told WBIR. Figure 1 and 3 show matrices based on two different Hebrew transliterations of his name, but the results are pretty similar. On Figure 1 his name runs smack into and shares a letter shin/sin with SNAKE. It only takes 10 letters in once column to show JAMIE COOTS and SNAKE. On Figure 2 in a 540-letter matrix with his name as axis term, we find an open text reference to SNAKE plus another open text reference saying HE SHALL SURELY DIE. After discussing the statistical significance of these two matrices I will discuss the New Testament source of Coot's church and ideas, plus the Talmudic prohibition (shown on Figure 4) against actions with snakes like that which took his life.
STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FIGURE 1 MATRIX. As per my standard protocol, no statistical significance is assigned to the axis term, here the only ELS of a transliteration of JAIMIE COOTS with a spelling of gimel alef yud mem yud for JAIMIE and kuf tav sin for COOTS. This assumes either an implied vowel mark of qibbuts under the kuf or shureq after it. These marks are never shown in Torah. Normally I use a different protocol that I developed and posted HERE to calculate statistical significance of a-priori terms. There is only one such term on the matrix - SNAKE. While JAIMIE COOTS is 8 letters in Hebrew shown, and SNAKE is 3 letters (nun chet shin), it only takes 10 letters to show both terms because of a common letter shin/sin. So how likely is such a match to occur? A special technique is required to calculate it. I pay no attention to the common letter shin/sin. I look only at the next 2 letters. There are chet and nun. They must be accounted for in that order to hook up with the shin in proper fashion. In the 304,805 letters of Torah there are 7,189 chets and 14,126 nuns. After we subtract the 8 letters of JAIMIE COOTS there are 304,795 letters of Torah remaining. So for the chet we use the fraction 7,189/304,795 and find that it equals 0.0235863449203563. For the nun value there are now a remaining 304,794 letters of Torah left. So use the fraction 14,126/304794 and the quotient is 0.0463460566809058. When we multiply both quotients just derived the product is 0.0010931340785742. Taking the reciprocal of that, we see that the odds against having these two letters in such a sequence are about 914.8 to 1. So it was indeed surprising to see JAIMIE COOTS in only 10 letters with SNAKE.
As for the a-posteriori part of the matrix from Numbers 23:25, I cannot calculate a statistical significance. Under my rules terms only noticed after reading a matrix, but not guessed before conducting the experiment are not included in probability calculations. However, sometimes Coots and other church members got away with handling snakes, once he lost a finger to a snake (see Figure 2 above), and eventually he lost his life to one. He was indeed neither blessed nor cursed for his acts. If God were to allow him to go on doing this forever He would encourage other foolish people to act likewise, but if He were to kill him the first time the act was attempted He might make people think that He can be made to show His hand quicker than He wants, and this would discourage people to believe in Him through Faith. So, perhaps in the end, Coots was ignored by God, but not by the snake that killed him. God simply allowed nature to run its course. Thus the wisdom given in the Talmud as shown on Figure 4 seems far superior to the dangerous opinion given in Mark 16:18. The contrast between asking people to handle dangerous snakes rather than avoiding such action even if they saw nine people get away with it before is typical of the opposing beliefs that have kept Christianity and Judaism divided for the past 2,000 years.
I was going to just write that you can watch Coots and his congregation handle snakes on a segment of a National Geographic special about them HERE. But when I tried the link it reduced coverage greatly and removed the link to National Graphic. I guess the incident was too embarrassing to National Geographic and associated religious interests to leave it up. Other links to Coots that worked earlier in the day were also removed. At the end of the article you may still find the National Geographic segment HERE.
STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FIGURE 3 MATRIX. Again, as per my standard protocol, no statistical significance is assigned to the axis term, here a transliteration of JAIMIE COOTS with a spelling of gimel yud yud mem yud for JAIMIE and kuf tav samech for COOTS. Like Figure 1, this also assumes either an implied vowel mark of qibbuts is under the kuf or shureq after it. There are two transliterations of the name spelled this way (one with a lower skip), but the way I spelled it on Figure 1 was also at a lower skip, therefore I consider this matrix to based on ELS rank 3 of the axis term for calculation purposes. SNAKE is at skip +1. Normally for a-priori words at that best case skip I just search Torah at that skip only to determine its frequency. When I do that here I find it come up 85 times. But it's only a 3-letter word, and I am more interested in how many times the Torah really is talking about a snake or serpent rather than just showing us the three letters nun chet shin when they are only found as the last letter or two of one word combined a with a letter or two letters that start the next word in Hebrew. To make that distinction I look at the English translation of the Torah. There I find snake mentioned 9 times and serpent 19 times. So the total of those words (28) is a more meaningful frequency. With no such adjustment the odds against finding the 3 letters for SNAKE in sequence before correcting for ELS rank 3 of the axis term were about 7 to 1 on am 540-letter matrix. But if I just want to know about the odds against really having snake or serpent there it's about 20 to 1. The odds against having HE WILL SURELY DIE in the open text were about 21 to 1. The combined odds against having these two terms with JAMIE COOTS were about 51 to 1 after correcting for axis term rank. However, when we use the English for snake or serpent the odd s are altered to 147 to 1.
CONTRAST BETWEEN JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY ON THE SNAKE HANDLING ISSUE. Again, the Babylonian Talmud described exactly what Coots would do and why such action is prohibited under Jewish Law. Life is precious in Judaism. It is NOT to be risked lightly. While Judaism does, of course, accept that miracles can happen, it teaches that it is irresponsible to risk life and DEMAND that miracles occur for someone committing foolish acts. A doctrine like that espoused in Mark 16:18 was likely the kind of talk that resulted in family and friends questioning the sanity of the speaker as is noted in Mark 3:21. It can be argued that the speaker's friends and family did not have faith in him, but it certainly cannot be reasonably argued that Jamie Coots did not have such faith, especially when he continued to preach it after he lost a finger to a rattlesnake. It appears that his faith was as good as anyone could hope for, but his faith was misplaced.
I often get e-mails from Christians readers who think I am blind because, as an Orthodox Jew, I do not accept what they believe in. However the Torah, where all these Codes on this site come from, is very clear about how to know who is a false prophet. This "Constitution-like" document for Judaism declared the basic test to be applied:
"When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22, New American Standard Bible)
I am certain that Christian apologists will do all in their power to explain away the death of Reverend Coots (or sweep it under the rug). They have that right. But I ask my Christian readers to look at what is in the Jewish Scriptures that are the basis of Christianity, and understand after reading what God taught us in Torah and Talmud why we have the right to reject their opinions.
This is not the first such death. You can read a CNN article HERE about the death of another preacher, Mack Wolford (44) who died the same way, as did his own father. The June 1, 2012 CNN article states that this practice has killed about 100 people since the tradition began in East Tennessee hills in 1909.